Jan. 21, 2014, 5:04 PM
- BlackBerry (BBRY) plans to unload the majority of its Canadian real estate holdings via sale-leaseback and vacant asset sale transactions. The properties being sold feature 3M+ sq. feet of space. (PR)
- CEO John Chen says BlackBerry "remains committed to being headquartered in Waterloo and having a strong presence in Canada along with other global hubs." Following its huge job cuts, the company needs much less office space than it once did.
- Shares are adding to the gains they saw in regular trading following the DoD's vote of confidence.
Nov. 8, 2013, 3:26 PM
- Sources tell Reuters plenty of tech companies expressed interest in buying parts of BlackBerry (BBRY +1.1%), but were shot down by a board that felt a breakup "did not serve the interest of all stakeholders, which include employees, customers and suppliers in addition to shareholders."
- Reuters is now reporting Microsoft and Apple were interested in BlackBerry's patents, and past reports have claimed Lenovo, Cisco, Intel, and Google were interested in part or all of BlackBerry. Ottawa reportedly turned Lenovo away due to security concerns. Also, John Sculley has said he was lining up a bid before BlackBerry announced its $1B, Fairfax-led, debt deal.
- The report comes as BlackBerry discloses its financing deal comes with a breakup fee that could range from $135M-$250M (depending on the circumstances). The company has also disclosed new chairman/interim CEO John Chen is being given $85M worth of restricted stock units (vesting over five years) as part of his compensation package.
Nov. 6, 2013, 2:27 PM
- Reuters reports a Qatari sovereign wealth fund invested as much as $200M in BlackBerry's (BBRY -1.2%) $1B convertible debt offering. A source says the fund was compelled to invest due to offering's yield (6%).
- The purchase is noteworthy both due to its reported size (only a little smaller than Fairfax's $250M commitment), and the fact the Middle East remains a relative stronghold for BlackBerry.
- Meanwhile, ex-Apple CEO John Sculley (previous) says he and other investors were lining up an offer for BlackBerry before the debt deal was announced, and were "pretty confident" they could pull it off.
- Sculley's comments come after The Globe and Mail reported Lenovo was serious about trying to acquire BlackBerry, but was (unsurprisingly) told by the Canadian government a deal would be shot down due to security concerns related to BlackBerry's network. No word on whether Lenovo would have been interested in a deal excluding BlackBerry's network, or whether Ottawa would've relented in such circumstances.
Nov. 4, 2013, 8:25 AM
- The Globe and Mail reports BlackBerry (BBRY) is abandoning its efforts to find a buyer, and will replace CEO Thorsten Heins.
- The report comes ahead of Fairfax Financial's 5PM ET deadline for shoring up financing for its $9/share bid. Few expected the firm up to come up with the necessary funds.
- Shares -18.2% premarket.
Nov. 4, 2013, 5:00 AM
- Fairfax Financial Holdings (FRFHF) has until 5 pm today to firm up the preliminary $4.7B bid for BlackBerry (BBRY) that the Toronto-based firm made six weeks ago.
- The deadline comes amid reports that Fairfax, which is BlackBerry's largest shareholder with a 9.9% stake, has struggled to secure financing for the deal, while it is also yet to name partners.
- Other bids could come in by the deadline, although it could be extended. Those who are reportedly interested in the beleaguered cell-phone maker include a group that could eventually be comprised of the company's founders, Qualcomm (QCOM) and Cerberus.
Nov. 1, 2013, 5:41 PM
- After barely moving in response to a report Cerberus is thinking of teaming up with BlackBerry's (BBRY) co-founders, shares are up 1.7% AH in response to an update indicating Qualcomm is in talks to join the effort.
- Meanwhile, in a report that's unlikely to surprise many, sources tell Bloomberg Prem Watsa's Fairfax Financial has failed to secure the financing it needs for its $9/share bid, ahead of a Monday deadline.
- Fairfax's advisors, BofA and BMO, have reportedly been "rebuffed by other lenders" whom they reached out to. Credit Suisse is said to have passed after finding "tepid demand" among loan investors for financing a BlackBerry bid.
- Watsa has said Fairfax, which owns 9.9% of BlackBerry, won't be putting any more of its own money into BlackBerry to help pay for an acquisition.
Nov. 1, 2013, 4:55 PM
- A couple hours after reporting Cerberus is exploring a joint bid for BlackBerry (BBRY) with co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, the WSJ reports Qualcomm (QCOM) is in talks to join the effort
- It's unlikely Qualcomm would have much interest in BlackBerry's hardware ops, which compete against the mobile chip/IP giant's largest customers. But it could find some value in BlackBerry's sizable patent portfolio.
Nov. 1, 2013, 2:55 PM
- The WSJ report has led BlackBerry (BBRY -0.9%) to tick slightly higher. However, shares remain lower on the day.
- Cerberus has already signed an NDA to look at BlackBerry's books, and co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin (combined 8% stake) have announced their interest in a bid, should they obtain enough funding.
- The report comes ahead of Fairfax's Nov. 4 deadline for completing due diligence on BlackBerry and signing a transaction agreement. Investors are quite skeptical Fairfax will line up the funds it needs to proceed with its $9/share bid.
Oct. 29, 2013, 2:14 PM
- The WSJ reports BlackBerry (BBRY +2.5%) execs flew to California to meet with Facebook (FB +0.8%) to "gauge its interest" in a possible bid for the company. Sources state it's unclear if Facebook is interested in playing ball. Nonetheless, BlackBerry shares have caught a bid on the report.
- Facebook joins a very long list of names attached to BlackBerry M&A rumors. The list already includes Lenovo, P-E firm Cerberus, major BlackBerry shareholder Fairfax Financial, and co-founder Mike Lazaridis.
- "If someone knocks on your door, don't answer, it is just Blackberry asking you to buy them," a trader quips to Notable Calls.
- Earlier: BBM Android/iOS downloads top 20M
Oct. 28, 2013, 1:27 PM
- "Blackberry doesn't fit with our strategy," says SAP (SAP +0.6%) CFO Werner Brandt, shooting down reports the German software giant is interested in parts of BlackBerry (BBRY -0.2%). Cisco, Samsung, and Google have also been reported to be interested in acquiring some of the struggling smartphone vendor's assets.
- Meanwhile, the new Android/iOS BBM apps has received a harsh review from The Verge, and a muted review from The Inquirer. The former only gave the apps a score of 5.0/10, while criticizing their "ugly design" and the absence of features offered by rival mobile messaging services, such as voice calls, video chats, and location sharing. The latter likes the apps' "reasonably smooth" UI and invite features, but sees them having trouble standing out in a crowded landscape.
- Also: Complaints have come in about fake BBM reviews on Google Play, where the app maintains a user rating of 4.2/5 stars. BlackBerry says it had nothing to do with the fake reviews.
- Previous: BBM Android/iOS downloads top 10M
Oct. 24, 2013, 9:31 AM
- The Globe And Mail reports former Apple CEO John Sculley, who famously (or infamously) took over from Steve Jobs in the '80s, is weighing a bid for BlackBerry (BBRY +0.6%) with Canadian partners.
- In a talk with the paper, Sculley stated he thinks "there’s a lot of future value in Blackberry," and suggested an experienced management team could help turn it around.
- Sculley joins a list of parties reportedly or officially interested in parts or all of BlackBerry that includes Fairfax Financial, co-founder Mike Lazaridis, P-E firm Cerberus, Lenovo, SAP, and Cisco. No one has yet made a bid fully backed by adequate financing.
Oct. 18, 2013, 1:58 AM
- Lenovo (LNVGF.PK) will probably just try to acquire parts of BlackBerry (BBRY) rather than the whole company, Reuters reports, due to regulatory concerns.
- The news agency's article is in contrast to a WSJ report that said that the Chinese computer maker is "actively considering a bid for all of BlackBerry."
- Reuters didn't specify what the regulatory concerns are but did cite experts who believe that BlackBerry's secure network would probably be sold to a North American buyer because of security issues, especially as the U.S. government is a major customer.
Oct. 17, 2013, 3:49 PM
- Sources tell the WSJ Lenovo (LNVGY.PK) is "actively considering a bid for all of BlackBerry (BBRY +0.2%)," not just parts of the company, as is reportedly the case for other tech names.
- "Goodbye U.S. gov't contracts," quips Dan Primack. Given the roadblocks extended to Huawei and ZTE by U.S. politicians and regulators, and general concerns about hacking incidents blamed on the Chinese government, it's safe to assume any Lenovo bid for the whole of BlackBerry would receive intense scrutiny.
- Earlier: Lenovo reportedly signs NDA with BlackBerry
Oct. 17, 2013, 2:48 PM
- Dow Jones reports Lenovo (LNVGY.PK) has signed an NDA to look at BlackBerry's (BBRY +1.6%) books. The report comes two days after one from Bloomberg indicating an NDA has been signed with Cerberus.
- Lenovo has been featured in BlackBerry M&A speculation more than once this year, in part due to comments from Lenovo execs. But the Chinese PC/smartphone vendor's relatively small market cap could be an issue, as might national security concerns (should Lenovo want to acquire BlackBerry's network).
- BlackBerry has rallied a bit on the report.
Oct. 15, 2013, 1:08 PM
- Cerberus, a P-E firm specializing in distressed investments, is said to be in the "early stages of considering a takeover bid" for BlackBerry (BBRY +0.7%).
- The WSJ reported two weeks ago Cerberus is looking to sign an NDA, but hasn't decided whether to pursue a bid.
- BlackBerry shares have received a small boost from the report, turning positive after spending most of the day down slightly.
Oct. 10, 2013, 2:17 PM
- In a fresh 13D, BlackBerry (BBRY +0.9%) co-founder Mike Lazaridis discloses he has entered into an agreement with fellow co-founder Douglas Fregin to "explore the possibility of submitting a potential joint bid" for BlackBerry. Together, Lazaridis and Fregin own an 8% stake.
- Last month, the NYT reported Lazaridis had approached P-E firms Blackstone and Carlyle about a possible BlackBerry bid. He has also reportedly talked with Prem Watsa, who wanted Lazaridis to support Fairfax's buyout effort (still in need of considerable financing).
- BlackBerry has turned positive in response to Lazaridis' filing.